SBRI Healthcare, an Accelerated Access Collaborative initiative in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and Asthma + Lung UK has awarded £2.7 million to six innovations that support people with respiratory diseases.
The innovations include digital inhalers for children allowing families to monitor usage via a smartphone, a home monitoring system for the early identification of complications of chronic respiratory conditions including interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung transplantation, and a hybrid digital and in-person programme for pulmonary rehabilitation.
Asthma affects 8 million people in the UK with 1 in 5 people diagnosed with a respiratory disease. It is the third biggest cause of death in England (after cancer and cardiovascular disease).
Patients are commonly diagnosed when a respiratory disease has progressed, leading to poor prognoses and patient outcomes.
Respiratory diseases are a major factor in winter pressures faced by the NHS; with hospital admissions for lung disease at three times the rate of all admissions generally.
SBRI Healthcare ‘Competition 21, Phase 3 for Real-world Testing and Implementation: Respiratory Diseases’ was launched in June 2022 and sought late-stage innovations that focused on early diagnosis – in both adults and children – of respiratory diseases, monitoring and management, and access to the right care at the right time.
Phase 3 competitions support innovations to gain the evidence and real-world validation needed for NHS commissioners and regulators to make purchasing recommendations with the aim to benefit patients and the community.
SBRI Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) initiative – a partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS hosted by NHS England – and is delivered in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).
Matt Whitty, CEO of the AAC, said “The SBRI Healthcare awards help the NHS to develop new technologies and solutions to address some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing society. We have selected these innovations because they have the potential to make a big difference to patients. By supporting the most promising innovations the NHS will continue to evolve, helping meet more patients’ needs and encouraging more innovators to come forward with ideas that make a difference.”
Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Innovation at Asthma + Lung UK, said “New tests that can diagnose people with lung conditions quickly and easily are vital to making sure people get the correct treatment for their symptoms. We’re delighted to have worked with SBRI Healthcare who provide funding through the Accelerated Access Collaborative for promising medical innovations that will help address unmet patient needs and ensure the respiratory community benefits from this great funding opportunity.”
“Lung conditions are the third biggest killer in the UK and funding for research and innovation is needed to help diagnose, treat and manage them more effectively and transform and save millions of lives in the UK and across the world.”
The awarded projects are:
my mhealth Limited– awarded £499,780 – Improving COPD Outcomes through Digitally Enhanced Care Pathways
Based on national guidelines and peer-reviewed evidence, myCOPD enables patients to manage their own COPD by linking with clinical teams, reporting symptoms and key assessments and accessing content to improve their physical wellbeing and quality of life. The project explores its implementation and success in two very distinct UK regions.
Lenus Health Ltd – awarded £467,260 – Implementing and evaluating the Lenus COPD Support Service for remotely managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (HUTH)
The Lenus COPD Support Service leverages data from connected devices and patient-reported outcomes and enables messaging to the clinical team, in real time. The service aims to reduce hospitalisations through more timely interventions and has been a catalyst for joining up care by supporting shared decision-making among healthcare practitioners and patients.
Adherium Europe Ltd – awarded £499,871 – Smart Digital inhaler enabled asthma management in high-risk children aged 5 to 16 years managed in primary care to prevent asthma attacks
Children with asthma often have flare-ups that require hospitalisation. This project will use Hailie® digital inhalers that alert the child and display usage on the family’s smartphone. Via the web, the medical team can monitor and support families and their child’s medication; with the aim to reduce these asthma attacks.
Tiny Medical Apps – awarded £488,525 – Making Young People’s Asthma Self-management Smarter (MYPASS)
The Digital Health Passport is an asthma self-management app co-designed with young people and NHS specialists to improve asthma control. MYPASS will measure the impact of the platform on asthma attacks, unscheduled care and steroid use and evaluate three user engagement strategies (Nurse-led, Social Media and NHS Comms).
patientMpower – awarded £279,732 – A randomised, prospective evaluation of health outcomes, service and health economic impact of hybrid (remote+clinic) versus clinic alone to enable right-time, right-place care for the follow-up of patients after lung transplantation
patientMpower is a specialist digital healthcare solution for chronic respiratory conditions, combining home monitoring of objective and subjective measures with data insights and patient-tailored alerting features. This project will evaluate the health, service and health economic outcomes of digitally-enabled hybrid care, versus standard care, for patient follow-up after lung transplantation.
Aseptika Ltd – awarded £499,342 – Real-world validation in both community and hospital-based settings for a technology-enabled hybrid service delivery model for Pulmonary Rehabilitation, affordable at all stages of their condition, to increase uptake and service capacity
Active+me REMOTE for Pulmonary Rehabilitation is designed to support the implementation of hybrid service delivery, using a combination of in-person classes, at-home delivery and a blend of these.
SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Healthcare is an Accelerated Access Collaborative funded initiative that provides funding to innovators to develop solutions that tackle existing unmet needs faced by the NHS. The programme aims to improve patient care, increase efficiency in the NHS, and support the UK economy. The SBRI Healthcare team, through support from the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), works closely with clinicians and frontline NHS staff.
The Accelerated Access Collaborative is a unique partnership between patient groups, government bodies, industry and the NHS. It delivers ambitious programmes to ensure the NHS is in the best place to improve patient outcomes and reduce health inequalities through research and innovation. It does this by identifying the best new medicines, medical devices, diagnostics and digital products. It supports providers and integrated care systems to make them available to patients as quickly as possible. In addition, the AAC supports increasing participation in research and access to research trials. Over 1.6 million patients have benefited from its programmes to date, helping patients spend over 278,000 fewer days in hospital and saving the NHS over £185 million.
There are 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) across England, established by NHS England in 2013 to spread innovation at pace and scale – improving health and generating economic growth. Each AHSN works across a distinct geography serving a different population in each region. As the only bodies that connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, AHSNs are catalysts that create the right conditions to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for patients.
Asthma + Lung UK is the only charity in the UK fighting for everyone with a lung condition, aiming for a world where everyone can breathe with healthy lungs. Asthma + Lung UK fund research, provide advice and support for the 12 million people who will get a lung condition during their lifetime, campaign for clean air and for better NHS diagnosis and treatment. For further information visit www.asthmaandlung.org.uk